In Gary Soto's poem "Mexicans Begin Joggin" (p181) irony is used to illustrate moments in the life of Mexican wokers in factories near the borderlines.
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What particular joke is the poet elaborating in regards to his character, an American citizen of Mexican descent?
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If illegal immigrants are caught working in the United States, they will be deported and their boss will be heavily fined for each illegal or shut down. The poem "Mexicans Begin Jogging" is a series of ironies. Soto is working in a factory with illegal immigrants when the border patrol arrives in a van to raid the place. The boss waves at his workers and tells them to run. He doesn't want to pay the consequences of hiring illegals. Soto doesn't have to run, he is legally an American citizen. His boss yells at him to jump over the fence with the others. Soto protests, telling him that he is legal, and his boss calls him a liar. His boss doesn't even know he is legal. In fact, he pays him a dollar to follow the others. Gary Soto, legal American citizen, has now been paid to run away with the illegal immigrants and just because his skin is the same color as theirs. So he runs. The word "jogging" is defined as "trotting at a slow,steady pace" ---- he is not in a hurry. He doesn't need to be, he is legal and has nothing to fear. As he jogs along the crowd lined streets from the factory, he yells "Vivas" or "long life" to baseball and milkshakes, two American institutions, and the sociologists who would study the course of immigration in the United States. He can't help but find the whole situation amusing and shows it with a "great, silly grin" The whole thing is a big joke.
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